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Cool Japan: One cloth fits all gifts: Wrap in 'furoshiki' for eco-elegant style

Taking up herewith News by Asahi regarding "Cool Japan" aspect.
Thie time the News refer to "Furoshiki(風呂敷)".
The tile is "ETIENNE'S COOL JAPAN: One cloth fits all gifts: Wrap in 'furoshiki' for eco-elegant style".
Hope you enjoy the News quoted herewith.
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QUOTE
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ETIENNE'S COOL JAPAN: One cloth fits all gifts: Wrap in 'furoshiki' for eco-elegant style
Mar 23, 2010 by Asahi
photo
(Bottles gift-wrapped in "furoshiki" (ETIENNE BARRAL))

As I was walking in the Kagurazaka district of Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward one day, I noticed a sign in a shop window that was written in French. It read: "We will wrap our products with a furoshiki you bought."

Apparently, the sign was aimed at the many French people who live in the neighborhood. The store specializes in furoshiki, a type of square Japanese wrapping cloth used to carry objects.

The store sells more than 400 kinds of furoshiki in patterns ranging from traditional Japanese ones to modern designs in various colors, motifs and materials.

http://rarirure.com/files/0002/000034/furoshiki.jpg

Recently, many people have begun carrying along their own shopping bags, apparently riding the crest of the ecology wave. Naturally, then, this trend may give rise to a furoshiki boom.

A furoshiki is durable, reusable and used to wrap objects of almost any shape. Furthermore, when not in use, the cloth wrapper takes up hardly any space because it can be compactly folded.

Former Environment Minister Yuriko Koike came up with the idea of mottainai furoshiki (don't-waste furoshiki) and has encouraged its use to reduce garbage.

I don't know how effective the campaign has been, but I am seeing more stores selling furoshiki these days and hear that shops specializing in them are on the increase.

http://vaiquevai.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/furoshiki.JPG

When I give presents to my foreign friends, I find it cool to wrap them in furoshiki and present the whole package. The recipients also say it's cool because they can use furoshiki with a traditional Japanese pattern to decorate their homes.

My favorite furoshiki is printed with a grape pattern. It was designed by the owner of the Kagurazaka store who is also a sommelier.

In the olden days, such cloths were used to wrap sake bottles. Now that I have learned how to wrap a bottle with a furoshiki, I plan to do so whenever I give the gift of a bottle of wine to someone.
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Editor's note: This column, originally published in the vernacular Asahi Shimbun, is written by a French journalist who has lived in Japan for more than 20 years.
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By T.S. on Mar 26, 2010
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